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Murdered Beauty Queen Laid To Rest In Venezuela

posted 10 Jan 2014, 11:31 by Mpelembe   [ updated 10 Jan 2014, 11:32 ]

Beauty queen slain in attempted robbery in Venezuela is buried in Caracas.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA (JANUARY 10, 2014) (REUTERS) -  A former Miss Venezuela, Monica Spear, was buried in Venezuela on Friday (January 10), days after she and her ex-husband, Henry Berry, were gunned down during an attempted robbery.

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Spear was buried alongside her ex-husband.

The case has focused attention on Venezuela's rampant violent crime.

The 2004 Miss Venezuela winner lived in the United States but was vacationing in Venezuela. The pair's 5-year-old daughter survived the attack late on Monday, but with a bullet wound in her leg.

Authorities said that the victims' car burst a tire after running over something on the road, apparently placed by robbers to stop traffic.

"This crime against Monica and her husband and the wounding of her daughter has shaken the national conscience, but the fact is that in Venezuela thousands of incidents like this are happening. In 2013 we had more than 24,000 murders and all of them are under a cloak of impunity," said opposition deputy,Hiram Gaviria.

A tow truck arrived to help, but armed robbers also appeared - a common occurrence after dark on roads in one of the world's most violent nations - and chased away the crew.

Spear's fans paid tribute to the star.

"She was a really good actress and I'm going to leave these roses as a symbol of peace and of my love and affection," said Jose Marcano.

Venezuela's official homicide rate late year was 39 per 100,000 inhabitants, but local non-government organizations put the figure at nearly twice that for a total of 24,000 deaths.

President Nicolas Maduro says beating violent crime is his No. 1 priority, and polls consistently show it to be Venezuelans' main concern.

But opponents say the government's anti-crime plans do not tackle root causes, such as impunity for criminals, corrupt courts and complicity by some poorly-paid police.